22 August 2017

end of summer

A couple of weeks ago a family moved into the townhouses across the playground with kids aged 6,7,8. As crazy as I find that age gap (!), I find it to be such a blessing for my kids. You really only need one friend, as a kid, to make a certain time special. Calvin got two brothers (the 7 & 8 year olds) and Norah got the little sister, newly 6. 

Calvin and the boys have been outside riding bikes for the last three weeks straight, with slight pauses for sleeping and watching tv. They had a secret hideout (the main pavilion) and when "the kid who pees on everything" stormed it, they got another secret hideout (the other pavilion). They talk about Harry Potter, and racing, and making spears and bow and arrows, they share popcicles and fishie crackers. The little sisters are sadly being relegated to little sister status at the moment, but that is really ok with me so they stay within sight and earshot at the playground.

It is almost exactly what I was hoping would happen when we moved here, suburbia to the max. It might even be why we decided to build right here. The first month we were here I just couldn't believe the lack of kids running wild out there-- where are all the kids? I understand many of them could be going to child care elsewhere but even in the evenings I was disappointed by the childlessness out back. My kids and the kid who pees on stuff were the only ones outside most of the time, and while I try to be open minded about my kids' friends, I was not thrilled that he was their only companion. 

I've read lots of things about kids needing time outside, unstructured, playing together without adult direction, learning playground politics, getting hurt, getting a strong immune system by interacting with germs from time to time, being slightly in danger, building stuff, and sharing popcicles. (Basically.) But of course, we sort of seek out the things we agree with, so those are the kinds of things I read about. I totally understand that every family is different and the kids have different needs, but I am really trying to figure out a way to get more of our neighbors outside (and playing with my kids...ha). As I type this, my kids are watching a movie in the dark on the last day of summer, so just take me with a grain of salt. 

21 August 2017


We viewed the eclipse with varying levels of enjoyment at the Gossner Factory this morning.
Some of us read.
Some of us played on the sewer lid and the gutter.
Some of us refused to put on the glasses or look skyward until it was over.

Remember the eclipse in 2012? This was basically exactly the same, and I'm sorry but I can't figure out why it was different. And by can't figure out I mean I don't know off the top of my head and haven't attempted to find out any more than just saying out loud, "So...how is this different from the one 5 years ago?"

11 August 2017

objects of affection

Calvin has Teddy.
Norah has Puppy and her cold blankie, with the occasional penguin bird.
Magnolia has my 33 year old torn and tattered in shreds baby blanket and says "uh-UH" to her others-- and a newly acquired BABEE raccoon. 

08 August 2017

one two three FOUR

This Norah dumpling gal had a birthday, shout hooray (hooray)! 
She asked for a dollhouse, a backpack, and a stick horse (!) and got all three. 
She asked for a blueberry cake and got that too, except she did not actually try to eat any of it; not a slice, not a bite. I had plenty of it. It was delicious.
She is now four, and will finally be starting preschool in September. She is so excited and writes "N" on everything, recites Mother Goose and colors cute people with big heads and eyes.

07 August 2017

island park again

I just couldn't let that be the only camping post because we spent most of our days out at the basic Island Park sites. 

We went to Big Springs, and finally got a chance to go inside Johnny Sack's cabin, and saw a moose family:

 We also drove to the top of Sawtell Peak. I mean, what in the world. That is one crazy place.
 We saw a lovely rainbow at Upper Mesa Falls, looked at the pelts inside the visitor's center (which I want to live in), and then went down to the Lower Falls. 
 Also, Herriman State Park. We loved it when we stayed there, and it was fun because there was a heritage fair going on, so the kids made leather stamp necklaces and created their own brand, and we all learned to lasso. Nate captured my humble attempts on video, but sadly it isn't in this post.
 Maggie, and everyone, was pooped after that. Like seriously very exhausted. We drove up to West Yellowstone and every child slept; then we just played at a park and drove back.
 And the dirtiest baby on the block got a bath, and finally smiled.

31 July 2017

mccrea bridge

Choosing blindly out of the slim pickins for campsites left when I finally decided we were going to camp in Island Park, I didn't know or really care too much what the site was like at McCrea Bridge. Tot tell you the truth, I didn't even think closely enough to realize it was on the river. It was a good choice though, lucky for us. We were a little too close to the pit potties for our nose's sakes, but other than that it was perfect.

When we arrived we went on a firewood quest. We filled up our trailer hitch carrier with a dry felled log and twigs. It was quite a stash, and lasted us almost the whole trip. I think it was about this point--like 45 minutes in--that we decided we needed a permanent residence in Island Park. You're invited to the cabin when we get it.

Things the kids liked at our camp:
1. setting up camp
2. walking to the dock
3. playing in the dock water
4. chopping wood
5. building fire
6. cooking over the gas stove
7. washing hands in the spigot
8. washing hands in our blue "sink"
9. filling up the sink
10. filling up water bottles
11. washing dishes
12. drying dishes
13. sitting around the fire telling silly/scary stories
14. staying up late
15. eating all the snacks
16. sleeping in a tent
17. using a lantern in the dark
18. eating camp breakfasts (dehydrated eggs!!)
19. exploring
20. flower hunting

26 July 2017

repeat of june 13th's post, with pictures from nate's phone

 On Nate's birthday we went to Morty's on a motorcycle date. I was overly responsible and got a salad instead of a burger (I only regretted it slightly; all the food there is good). The moto was a fun way to go, but it also made me think we really need to make a will...two parents on one motorcycle could be trouble. On our way home we needed to pick up the hiking backpack so I could keep taking the children out on hikes even though Migs had grown out of the Baby Bjorn once and for all. I wore it home but I made Nate go home on the back roads so no one would call child protective services on me for wearing a baby in a hiking backpack on the back of a motorcycle.
 The Wind Cave hike wasn't too bad this year. Next year will be tricky--there will be no worries about a baby getting absolutely filthy up there, but the baby will be sort of too big for the backpack and too small to walk. 
Calvin's turned into a regular kid in the pool, instead of one whose parents are trying to convince him to get his head wet.

25 July 2017

whose blog is this anyway

Oh hey.
Remember me? I'm Nate. I'm the tall one, if you've forgotten. the handsome one, the funny one. I'm also the one the baby smiles for:

 The one who offhandedly catches the biggest fish:
And incidentally, I'm also the one who takes the best pictures but I never ever upload them onto the computer. This morning when Melissa did it, there were like 575! Gee whiz. I hereby commit to uploading my pictures more often.

17 July 2017


I guess I am really a runner, but most of the runners I know are really really runner runners. I don't look like a runner. I am not a competitive runner, or a fast one, or an ambitious one.  But I think it's the running between 20 and 30 miles every week thing that makes me a runner regardless of that. 

So that's why I ran a half marathon on Saturday. I just run, so I did. 

My family gave up their whole morning to follow me around and yell, and wave, and jump up and down when they saw me. That's a good enough reason to run a race, if you ask me. 

I finished 8 minutes slower than when I ran the Top of Utah half in 2012. I guess when you put it that way it doesn't sound too bad, but I knew I'd be disappointed if I were slower and I also knew I'd be slower. I was right on both counts! I was only 2 minutes slower than I had really wanted to be (2 hours) and to tell you the truth, I don't think I could have shaved those two minutes off, unless my family showed up every 1/2 mile to push me forward. And then only if they were holding an ice cold freshly-squeezed lemonade to entice me forward. (I got one of those at the finish.) 

11 July 2017

pop quiz

Question: Is this group of items in Idaho including a placard, a long, steep staircase, an obelisk and a few headstones a monument to A) Lake Bonneville, B) a specific certain pioneer person who wasn't buried here and lived in Utah or C) the small group of people buried in a cemetery on the other side of the hill who  may have been either regular pioneers, massacring pioneers, or massacred pioneers (but there is no available information about them) or D) all of the above.


And the D's have it!

08 July 2017

nate and me

 I asked Calvin to take a picture of Nate and me. This is what we got. Well, thanks, six year old photographer! 
 Oh yeah, we're over here, right.
 When Nate was at scout camp a few weeks ago he was gone for about five days. My family came and we had a lot of fun, but for some reason I really missed him. LIke, Naaaaaaaate, I miiiiiiiiiss you. He came back eventually, with a huge scrape on his leg and the biggest fish award, and listen to this-- they had steak every night for dinner at camp. Those are the main things I remember from his account of the trip.
And then he came home, and we posed badly for pictures, like we do.

05 July 2017

explaining the 4th of july to a 6-year-old and 3-year-old

The easy part: swimming and splashing, eating a festive bbq at grandparents (I had a bruschetta burger; it was so good.), lighting fireworks on the road, eating cherries, staying up way late...yeah, it's pretty easy to understand.

The hard part: The Revolutionary War and the Declaration of Independence. 

02 July 2017

before dawn

My friend Alisha is 7 months pregnant and asked me if I wanted to go hiking. OF COURSE, I said, as I always answer. It's 10 miles, she said. GREAT, I said. Oh and we're going at 5am on a weekday she said. OKAAAAAY, I replied. Well, we're going to start at 5, so let's leave at 4:30 she said...And that's when I started questioning the merit of having friends. But she ran slow paced with me while I was pregnant and I feel like I owe her for that, so I said FINE, even though I knew I'd have to turn around before we got to the top, the zillion-year-old Jardine Juniper tree. Four other crazy ladies went with us and it was amazingly lovely up there on the Juniper trail. I had to hightail it home about halfway there so Nate wouldn't be late for work, so after hiking up I had to run down and my sore quads can prove it. I can't say for sure that awakening that early for pleasure is pleasurable; but, annoyingly, it generally feels worth it.

30 June 2017


I already posted most of these pictures on other places, but we would be pretty sad if we didn't have our reunion on the blog. We had lots of people staying here, and this little townhouse held them surprisingly well. We had a fun splash pad afternoon, a hike, some food, a birthday party for Jessica, some Great British Baking Show, and lots of hanging out. It was so fun to have them here. Nate was gone most of the week, but he arrived back in time to play Fish Stix with everyone.

23 June 2017

do you see what i see

 The kids' room sorta looks cool, even with the hardly decorating--but the girl pilot photo Nate got Norah is really awesome, and that Jesus and children picture makes any room feel like home.

And sort of speaking of home, last week I came across a personal history of Grandpa Hanson's parents. Grandpa Hanson was my grandma Ada's grandpa, and his wife Hannah is to blame/thank for all of my time in Family History. I know a lot about her family, but for some reason it escaped my attention that he grew up here in Cache Valley, after having been born on the plains on the way here with his Swedish parents. They lived in Hyrum, on the south side of the valley, so we trekked out there earlier this week to give them the pinecones they are due from Memorial Day. The wife, Karna, sounds like a really awesome lady. She was a stand-in nurse and fed neighbors and lost a few children but had a lot of faith. The husband sounds like a negative nelly to tell you the truth, and he apparently was never happy anywhere. So it just goes to show. Those posters in the Jr. High hallway were right: attitude makes altitude...or whatever. Have a good attitude, ok?